Beijing Automotive (BAIH) is accelerating plans for its passenger car division, a company source has said.

The division will do its own market research, planning, R&D, production preparations, and set up sales channels for its proprietary brands, he told the Sinocast news agency.

Employees would be drawn from the Beijing Auto family, including the Beijing Benz-DaimlerChrysler Automotive and Beijing Hyundai Motor JVs.

Zhang Xin, former general manager of Nanjing Automobile’s MG unit, was named head of the passenger car division last September. It will be located mostly in Beijing though some employees will be sent to Changsha, the capital city of the central province of Hunan, the source said.

BAIH general manager Wang Dazong said the production facility in Zhuzhou would become one of the proprietary brand production centres, building mainly economy cars.

This year the auto giant is concentrating on two passenger cars coded BC701 and BC801, two SUVs coded B40 and B51, and two hybrids.